Integration monitor

Integration monitor is a daily Latvian press digest on ethnic minority and society integration issues. The Monitor reviews the biggest Latvian dailies: Diena, Latvijas Avize, Neatkariga (in Latvian language), Vesti Segodnya (in Russian language). In specific cases other information sources are used. Latvian Centre for Human Rights is not responsible for information published by the media.

Дек. 22, 2014

  • The Minister of Education denies the transition of minority schools to teaching in state language was withheld because of concerns over possible protests during Latvia’s EU 2015 presidency
  • International conference "The Rights of the Child. Contemporary Challenges" held in Riga 

Vesti Segodnya interviews the Minister of Education Marite Seile. The Minister denies the claim that the decision to withhold the transition of national minority schools to teaching in the state language was motivated by an "order from Brussels", which allegedly was concerned with possible protests against the transition by representatives of national minorities during the first half of 2015, when Latvia will hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union. As reported, the previous government co-operation agreement foresaw the raising of the proportion of Latvian language instruction to 80% in national minority schools at the secondary school level. Several protest actions were held during 2014 to stop the move. The Minister did not name specific reason to withhold the transition, yet stated that she heard positive opinions about the present system of national minority schools and that other countries are using it as a good example. According to the Minister, the next step will be to prepare more education materials for teaching the state language in minority kindergartens. Regarding the frequent inspections by the Education Quality State Service and the State Language Inspection in schools, the Minister believes that if the schools were given complete freedom, the chaos might prevail. 

Vesti Segodnya reports about international conference "The Rights of the Child. Contemporary Challenges" organised in Riga by the Latvian Human Rights Committee. Participants also highlighted that education in native language of the child ensures the child’s successful learning of the subjects and intellectual development. According to Dr Fernand de Varennes, a number of international documents determine the rights of minorities in education, yet these documents are mostly of advisory nature. The authorities shall evaluate the situation by three parameters: demand for education in minority language, the size of minority population and possibilities of the state to provide these rights. Participants of the conference drew attention to the provision of the right to education in minority languages in Austria (Burgenland) and Italy (Trentino-Alto Adige). 

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